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''The Lone Ranger'' - The Legion of Old Timers

Published 1949

An episode of "The Lone Ranger" from 1949. Not the first, but one of the earliest US network shows produced on film. Originally aired 6 October 1949 (note: this is a syndication print).

Run time 24:26
Audio/Visual sound, black and white


Reviewer: btmcgee - - August 20, 2015
Subject: Synopsis of "The Legion of Old Timers" & Background of The Lone Ranger
"The Legion of Old Timers” from the first season of The Lone Ranger aired on October sixth of 1949. This thirty-minute episode revolves around a reoccurring scheme gang leader Red Devers has fabricated: forcing ranch owners to sell their property while the gang reaps the rewards. Bob Kittredge, the gang’s next victim, is forced to fire his foreman, Banty Bishop, when the Devers’ gang steals Kittredge’s money from Bishop and places the blame on him. With Bishop dismissed from the ranch, Devers takes the available position as foreman, fires Kittredge’s ranch hands, and beats Kittredge into submission – putting his ranch up for sale. At this point in the episode the Lone Ranger and his sidekick Tonto come across a for sale sign with Devers’ name on it. The Lone Ranger reveals to Tonto that he has been searching for Devers and his gang for a significant length of time, and the two decide to investigate further. They come across Bishop, who has been wallowing in self-pity, and question him about Devers and Kittredge. Confident that Devers is the man responsible for Bishop’s misfortune and putting the ranch on the market, the Lone Ranger disguises himself as an “old timer” and persuades Devers that his employer has interest in buying the ranch. The Lone Ranger then returns to Bishop and asks him to rustle together Kittredge’s old ranch hands to reclaim the ranch from Devers. The Lone Ranger enters the ranch as the employer interested in buying the property and scuffles with Devers as the old ranch hands enter the ranch and take on Devers’ gang. In the end the ranch is returned to Kittredge, Bishop and the ranch hands are awarded their original jobs back, and the Lone Ranger and his sidekick ride off into the desert – content simply in extinguishing Devers’ immoral conduct.

This western-geared television series was originally created as a radio show in 1933. George Trendle, owner of the WXYZ station in Detroit, went to writer Fran Striker of New York with the genre in mind and with the first eleven episodes Striker developed the ideology, character, and appearance that became the Lone Ranger. It is rumored that Striker took inspiration from the nonfictional Texas Ranger Captain John R. Hughes, whose adventures were detailed in The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey in 1915. The popularity of the radio show was such that it inspired two serial films (extended motion pictures broken up into parts) in 1938 and 1939. With the character and concept exceedingly popular by the late forties, they were crafted into a television series beginning in 1949 of which “The Legion of Old Timers” is derived.

The Lone Ranger television series aired on ABC for eight years, starting in 1949 and ending in 1957, with eight seasons total. Clayton Moore starred as the Lone Ranger for the majority of the show, with John Heart filling in for Moore in seasons three through six. Fred Foy announced the show at the start of each episode, and Jay Silverheels played the Lone Ranger’s sidekick Tonto throughout the show’s entirety. The show typically had guest actors that were new to the story for each episode, with some actors lingering for more episodes. Chuck Courtney, for instance, played the Lone Ranger’s cousin: appearing in fourteen episodes.

George Trendle is titled as the producer of The Lone Ranger, however with most of his experience in radio he hired Jack Chertok of Apex Film Corporation to do the real producing. Chertok produced the show up until the fifth year of production, when Trendle sold the rights to Jack Wrather. Wrather, and Wrather Productions, continued the show until its end in 1957.


Reviewer: webtrafficconnection - - June 13, 2014
Subject: The Lone Ranger
One of the best Lone Ranger episodes ever. I enjoy each and every episode that I can find and watch them with great enthusiasm.

I is indeed a please to watch these as opposed to the more modern version of which I was most disappointed.

You simply cannot beat the original Clayton Moore and Jay Silver Heels on their way to foil the next bad guy heist.
Reviewer: dirtydingusmcgee - - September 27, 2013
Subject: The Long Ranger "The Legion of Old Timers"
I downloaded this classic just a few days ago, and I have to say that The Lone Ranger still is one of the best all time cowboy shows found in the world today. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels are irreplacable, and the old shows are every bit as good now, as the first time I saw them way back.

I would recommend these Lone Ranger episodes to anyone seeking great wholesome entertainment.
Reviewer: roryarch - - March 24, 2013
Subject: Wow, DeForest Kelley
Wow, DeForest Kelley playing a clueless Easterner being bilked out of his ranch out west 16 years before he played a clueless doc on Star Trek! Fortunately, in the latter, he had Kirk and Spock to clue him in and, in the former, The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Lucky guy!

Overall, an enjoyable oater.